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October 23, 2014

The Closer: No Good Deed

by Anna Johns, posted Aug 29th 2006 1:36AM
the closer
(S02E12) This episode opens with a sombre tone when a teen-age boy is found shot to death in front of his home, in a very nice neighborhood. The kid (Carl Neilson) doesn't have any gang affiliations but he is the star witness in a murder case and his testimony could free the man on death row for the murders of two convenience store owners. Detectives start their hunt for the man described by the kid as the real killer.

But hell with the case. We've got a bitch fight between Estelle (Chief Pope's soon-to-be ex-wife) and Brenda and it ain't pretty. Estelle barges into the investigation room and, with every single member of Brenda's team present, she yells at Brenda about her previous affair with Chief Pope and accuses her of having another affair with him. Yowza. So much for spending all of last season gaining the respect of her team.

Of course, the team is now split about how to react to the big news. Det. Flynn's loyalty to Brenda is obviously not very strong because he's the first one to start questioning what the hell she's doing leading his department (although, he did stick his neck out on the line and sever his relationship with Cmdr. Taylor out of allegiance to Brenda). Surprisingly, Det. Provenza, who was such a pill to her last year, is quick to defend her. She also gets in trouble with Fritz, who directs her to be clear with Chief Pope that she's not interested in having a relationship with him. But the most surprising (and hilarious) reaction comes from Cmdr. Taylor, who defends Brenda's honor. It's in that obviously rehearsed/planned public defense of Brenda that a lightbulb goes off over her head to crack the case.

Let me just stop and say something here: This show is getting way too predictable. The last few episodes have been formulaic just like this one: something in the secondary storyline sparks Brenda to solve the case.

Speaking of the case.... as soon as Brenda starts interviewing the guy who's on death row for the murders, she discovers a common ground between him and the teen-ager: They both have the same priest. The priest got his students involved in the Freedom Initiative, an effort to free innocent people from prison. Did he compel the kid to make up information in order to save the man condemned to death? Maybe. But Carl's friend, Kendall, is awfully suspicous too. It turns out, she was pen pals... er, more than pen pals with the perp. Brenda breaks into the chick's locker to find her love letters from the condemned prisoner. (By the way, where the hell were Kendall's parents the entire time she was in police custody?) As I guessed at exactly 33 minutes into the show, Kendall coerced Carl into making up an alibi for her beloved prisoner.

It's hit or miss with this show. This season started out strong, but now the side stories about Brenda and Pope's relationship are stale and easily wrapped up. We're treated to fireworks in the promos and even in the shows but they just fizzle out at the end. What were the consequences of Estelle's big blow up in the investigation room? Nothing! One or two lines questioning Brenda's position and then everybody shuts up with Taylor defends her??

What's so great about this show is not only Brenda, but the quirky supporting cast. My favorite episodes this season have been the ones where we got to meet the goofballs who help Brenda solve crimes. More Provenza! More Flynn! More Tau! I'd even like to see more Fritz!

By the way, there's a season two marathon of The Closer next Monday leading up to the season finale.

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dee

i love this show. what type of bag does she have in this season? i gotta have it. it looks like a black leather shoulder bag. does anyone know?

September 04 2006 at 5:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rosie Walker

Pope is Assistant Chief and Brenda is a Deputy Assistant Chief.

Every crime show is a procedural and so to a certain extent it becomes predictable. The late Jerry Orbach once said that with Law & Order it was almost like a High Mass and if they varied from the formula much fans got upset. So I'd say The Closer is just finding it's formula. I'm hoping they find a happy balance between solving crimes and exploring personal lives. I don't want it to become NYPD Blues. I do think the Pope Brenda Fritz triangle hasn't been fully mined yet

September 03 2006 at 8:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Lev

I think the person who played Kendall was Hillary Tuck. I remembered her from the movie Camp Nowhere.

http://imdb.com/name/nm0875765/

August 30 2006 at 11:59 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
ann

I've really enjoyed the show this season (and last) and I love Jon Tenney's role. Fritz just cracks me up. He puts up with so much from her and is so stable. I hope they do a lot more with him next season.

August 30 2006 at 10:27 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Franklin

I just started to watch The Closer and I love it! Kyra's performance is awsome. I do have a question though who was the actress that played Kendall? Thanks to anyone who can help.

August 29 2006 at 9:44 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Margaret Calvert

I, too, am a huge fan of The Closer. Jean, I must ask you this - if you hate Kyra's portrayal of Brenda so desperately, why do you watch the show? She's the main reason the show is so fabulous and she's surrounded by a top-notch cast. I hope she will eventually get her well-deserved Emmy for her efforts on The Closer.

I agree with Gordy about it being great that the others on her crew didn't care -- except a little bit and that was good for a laugh and good to see the cohesiveness when it was needed.

Pope's wife's rant was a jaw dropper and I bet we haven't heard the last of that situation. I hope they keep the personal life in proportion to the professional. It takes a good blend to make an interesting show. So far, so good.

August 29 2006 at 5:33 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
jamTVman

This show is great, but I think it is time to thin out the characters so that they can develop some of them more. Chief Pope (and the Brenda connection) should be reduced significantly. Taylor- keep in for the rivalry effect. Fritz-less. Provenza and Flynn- more.

August 29 2006 at 2:50 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Sharonlee

I love this show Kyra is the best thing to hit Monday nights. I laugh at her quirks and her teams. I also love that she has a personal life and a job and she gets flustered just like real people. The next best hour on tv is the show Saved. These two shows are the only thing worth watching. Hate to see the season end.

August 29 2006 at 1:01 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Janet

I love The Closer. Kyra is just wonderful and is surrounded by other professionals who together, make for a great series. Can't wait to see the next episode. ABC, CBS and NBC have nothing, absolutely nothing, in a series that I enjoy more than this.

Janet

August 29 2006 at 12:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan Chichian

But Taylor was instructed to perform that little speech it wasn't something he decided to do, so he can still use this against Brenda at a later time. I am sure Pope did it to diffuse what use Taylor coul dmake of it but with Brenda's inability to play well with others I do not think it will have much affect.

I do have a question. When Pope first talked to Brenda about it he said he told the chief about the prior relationship. isn't Pope the chief?

August 29 2006 at 11:20 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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